Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

How do lawyers afford retirement?

How do lawyers afford retirement? Do they buy annuities? heythere02/03/17
Sorry, but really? Pension? No one outside of government get latinforliar02/03/17
68 y/o lawyer I share office space with- I asked him why he tttsolo02/03/17
Nice. (I am sure that was covered somewhere in that glossy heythere02/03/17
^^^ This But, I've also noticed a lot of old timers have greenhorn02/03/17
Invest in real estate and become a slum lord. That's my plan isthisit02/03/17
. . . heythere02/03/17
You have been cucked dear. triplesix02/03/17
Yup. Real estate is my plan too. greenhorn02/03/17
This. napoleone02/03/17
I am not approaching retirement age, but how is being a lawy guyingorillasuit02/03/17
"how is being a lawyer" is different from any other wage sla triplesix02/03/17
My job before law school had a defined pension plan. They s heythere02/03/17
And I am in business of fuking unicorns. It won't be for muc triplesix02/03/17
I left law and got into fedgov. That's how I plan on retirin flyer1402/03/17
We should have lunch. napoleone02/03/17
There's a Tim Horton's by the Greene I'll be at most of the flyer1402/04/17
I am 42 years old and I have several different sources of in legalwiter102/03/17
Homestead or leave the country. mtbislife02/04/17
I'm not sure how being an attorney is relevant to your quest tcpaul02/04/17
This may be the one area that lawyers have a slight advantag thirdtierlaw02/04/17
Looking around at my local bar I think this is the right ans qport02/24/17
Once I pay off my student loans I plan to start acquiring re barelylegal02/04/17
... barelylegal02/04/17
I've diversified my retirement portfolio with various length 2breedbares02/04/17
I've tried to save as much as possible into my retirement pl cranky02/04/17
Most attorneys I know who can't retire spend too much or don shitlawsf02/04/17
don't take the stock market roller coaster. If you don't kn dingbat02/06/17
This is a good thread, the issue with attorneys saving for r associatex02/22/17
How long have you been practicing? attorneyinct02/22/17
Since 2005 associatex02/22/17
Watch out potential Slum Lords! The tenants rights type of t boomeresq02/22/17
Interesting thread. Law school certainly didn't prepare us entrepreneurlawyer02/23/17

heythere (Feb 3, 2017 - 9:13 pm)

How do lawyers afford retirement? Do they buy annuities?

I am about equal in years working in my pre-law job and law, counsel in biglaw. Besides 401k, there is nothing. My pre-law job came with a nice defined pension plan and I am thinking of heading back. The alternative is opening my own boutique firm - realistic expectation is 200k per year.

So, I take the stock market rollercoaster with my 401k and hope that it all works out? Or am I missing something?

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latinforliar (Feb 3, 2017 - 9:56 pm)

Sorry, but really? Pension? No one outside of government gets a pension anymore, so this question should really be, how does anyone retire?

If you can't do it as lawyer, it definitely won't work as a electrician, or a plumber, or an accountant.

Just suck it up and invest in the 401k and hope you can retire. That's the hand we've been dealt.

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tttsolo (Feb 3, 2017 - 9:29 pm)

68 y/o lawyer I share office space with- I asked him why he keeps doing this- court appointed criminal work- his answer- I need the money

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heythere (Feb 3, 2017 - 9:32 pm)

Nice. (I am sure that was covered somewhere in that glossy law school brochure I kept.)

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greenhorn (Feb 3, 2017 - 9:36 pm)

^^^ This

But, I've also noticed a lot of old timers have the financial wherewithal to retire but continue working for a variety of reasons.

I think many see it as a way of life. They spend 40 or 50 years working in this field, handling thousands of matters, developing a bank of knowledge, forms and contacts. For some reason, they "can't" leave. And it's not the money or lack of money holding them back.

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isthisit (Feb 3, 2017 - 9:59 pm)

Invest in real estate and become a slum lord. That's my plan.

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heythere (Feb 3, 2017 - 10:07 pm)

. . .

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triplesix (Feb 3, 2017 - 10:12 pm)

You have been cucked dear.

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greenhorn (Feb 3, 2017 - 10:24 pm)

Yup. Real estate is my plan too.

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napoleone (Feb 3, 2017 - 11:03 pm)

This.

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guyingorillasuit (Feb 3, 2017 - 10:11 pm)

I am not approaching retirement age, but how is being a lawyer in private practice different from any other small business (other than biglaw, I mean)? You work until you have "enough" saved up. If you want to keep up a lifestyle of luxury in retirement, your "enough" may be different from other people's "enough". How much do you need in monthly income to retire?

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triplesix (Feb 3, 2017 - 10:14 pm)

"how is being a lawyer" is different from any other wage slavery?

I don't know unless you make a pyramid and fuk some proles for decades as a job creator.

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heythere (Feb 3, 2017 - 10:35 pm)

My job before law school had a defined pension plan. They still do - even for new hires.

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triplesix (Feb 3, 2017 - 10:38 pm)

And I am in business of fuking unicorns. It won't be for much longer, I cant imagine how that is sustainable.

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flyer14 (Feb 3, 2017 - 10:44 pm)

I left law and got into fedgov. That's how I plan on retiring with money in the future. Inshallah, I'll use my legal training to be a slumlord once I save up some more cash.

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napoleone (Feb 3, 2017 - 11:04 pm)

We should have lunch.

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flyer14 (Feb 4, 2017 - 11:43 am)

There's a Tim Horton's by the Greene I'll be at most of the afternoon today if you're free.

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legalwiter1 (Feb 3, 2017 - 11:15 pm)

I am 42 years old and I have several different sources of income for my planned retirement.

401k and IRA accounts:
I contributed $18,000 (the max) to my 401k in 2016. I also contributed $5,500 to my Roth IRA which is the max. At age 42, I feel like I am track to retire if I want to at age 60. I currently have about $140k in my retirement accounts. Assuming I continue to fully fund my 401k and my Roth IRA, I should have well over $1 million in my retirement accounts by age 60.

Housing:
My house will also be paid off in about 14 years based on my current payments so I won't have any mortgage payments during retirement that will reduce my expenses. I could also sell my house and downsize and live in a smaller house once my kids grow up. I live 2 miles to the flagship state university so my kids could live at home and go to college to save money. I could also do a reverse mortgage if I needed cash.

Social Security:
Social Security is also part of my retirement plan. Based on my current income, I would receive about $33k/year in Social Security income at age 67. Of course, Social Security age may be raised, benefits reduced, or taxes increased to cover the shortfall in coming years. My wife will also collect 50% of my Social Security. Last year, my income exceeded the wage based of $118,500 so I should receive close to the max in Social Security based on my current income. If I wait until age 70, I would receive about $40k/year and my wife wold receive about $20k/year in Security Security based on income and estimates from the SSA.

Pension:
I have a defined pension from a previous employer that will give me around $3,500/year starting at age 65. This should cover my property insurance and property insurance. It's not much but I will take it.

Inheritance:
I also expect an inheritance of around $1 million - $1.5 million here in the next few years after my father dies (he has pancreatic cancer at age 70). My children are his only grandchildren so he wants to give everything in his estate to me. He inherited a lot from my grandparents.

Part-Time Income:
Part-time income during retirement can be helpful. I teach part-time online as an adjunct and do some writing. I receive good book royalties for one book I wrote and I could write more books and continue to teaching online to supplement my income. I used to work at a sporting goods store and one of my co-workers was retired for about six months but he go so bored he went back to work part-time. He enjoyed playing tennis and he got paid to string tennis rackets.

My wife is also younger than me and she could also work part-time if we needed more income.

I will have to wait and see how my health is and what my job situation is like. Health is the big question mark when it comes to retirement. I am in good shape for my age and get regular exercise and try to eat healthy. So far, I feel like I am on track but things can always change.

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mtbislife (Feb 4, 2017 - 10:52 am)

Homestead or leave the country.

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tcpaul (Feb 4, 2017 - 12:05 pm)

I'm not sure how being an attorney is relevant to your question. How do you retire? Plan, meet goals, and do it. It's not rocket science.

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thirdtierlaw (Feb 4, 2017 - 3:08 pm)

This may be the one area that lawyers have a slight advantage compared to a lot of other professions.

It is much easier for a 75 year old attorney to churn out simple divorce stipulations or wills when they need some extra cash than a 75 year plumber to strap back on a tool belt.

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qport (Feb 24, 2017 - 12:36 pm)

Looking around at my local bar I think this is the right answer. A lot of older attorneys work because it gets them out of the house, they can pick and choose which cases they want, and they can transition into retirement at their own pace. If you own your own practice you're not stuck in a unemployment/full time job binary choice.

Of course, I also know quite a few older attorneys who are only working because they didn't save up much when times were good and have nothing to fall back on.

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barelylegal (Feb 4, 2017 - 3:30 pm)

Once I pay off my student loans I plan to start acquiring rental properties.

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barelylegal (Feb 4, 2017 - 3:30 pm)

...

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2breedbares (Feb 4, 2017 - 4:02 pm)

I've diversified my retirement portfolio with various lengths of bootstraps.

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cranky (Feb 4, 2017 - 4:46 pm)

I've tried to save as much as possible into my retirement plan when employed by others, and now in a SEP-IRA. My portfolio hasn't grown as much as I'd hoped in the past 15 years and I lost a lot in the stock market crash. But that's pretty much all I can do, short of trying to get a gov't job, but usually I can make more on my own. There are plenty of attorneys who are getting old and can't afford to retire; some are doing side jobs to supplement their income. I hope to never be one of those ancient-looking attorneys wearing outdated clothing shuffling through the courthouse.

Also, this is why the legal market is even more flooded each passing year. The oldsters just won't retire or cannot afford to retire. There's a finite amount of paying clients and potential business to go around.

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shitlawsf (Feb 4, 2017 - 5:13 pm)

Most attorneys I know who can't retire spend too much or don't make enough. For those that spend too much, the answer is spend less, save more, and invest passively. For those that don't make enough (which was me at one point), get a government job if you can. The latter group should also spend less, save more, and invest passively (Boglehead style).

Actually, being a lawyer is not that relevant to the formula of how to achieve retirement.

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dingbat (Feb 6, 2017 - 10:13 am)

don't take the stock market roller coaster. If you don't know what you're doing, invest in a simple S&P 500 index fund and an equivalent bond fund; an easy way to figure out a reasonable split is
10% bonds while you're in your 20s, then increase your bond holdings by 20% every centenial.
When you retire, you can spend it down and hope you don't outlive, or you could buy a single premium immediate life-long annuity - which pays X per month until you die. (works like a pension)

Or you could buy a deferred annuity, which is basically the same thing but you pay in over many years, and it doesn't start paying out until you tell them to. This means you don't need to worry about the stock market, while still keeping control of when you retire

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associatex (Feb 22, 2017 - 2:17 am)

This is a good thread, the issue with attorneys saving for retirement is a mixed one because for most of us who went to law school Full Time, we lost 3 years of income and career opportunities. I didnt luck out with a good job that offered a 401K until around age 30 (I am 40 now). My job offers great retirement benefits- 401K with a 5% match (dollar for dollar up to 6% of income), and a pension. I dont plan to retire until prpb late 60s or 70s just because the idea of being at home bores me silly (I like the routine of going to work). Whether its law or something else remains to be seen. I try to max out my 401K so just looking at my 401k, I hope to be at around $160K by end of 2017 (not counting the match). My husband gets a pension through is job so combined, we should be very close to having $3m by the time we are 60/65.

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attorneyinct (Feb 22, 2017 - 6:25 am)

How long have you been practicing?

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associatex (Feb 22, 2017 - 9:09 am)

Since 2005

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boomeresq (Feb 22, 2017 - 7:36 am)

Watch out potential Slum Lords! The tenants rights type of tenants can destroy you as can non liquidity of real estate especially in down markets. I know first hand.

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entrepreneurlawyer (Feb 23, 2017 - 12:56 pm)

Interesting thread. Law school certainly didn't prepare us for this. It as assumed that you'd always have a job as a lawyer when I was a kid. Now, law is more of a business and less of a 'profession' that cared for its own. Today, you have to realize that your practice is a business. You run a business where you sell your knowledge. How you offer that knowledge to the world is up to you.

Why not write a book. Create a course. Do speaking engagements. Build your personal brand and leverage that into oppportunities. We are trained problem solvers so surely we can figure out how to earn income past retirement age.

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